PhD, Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
MS, Administration of Justice, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
BS, Psychology, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Olson joined the Criminal Justice Administration Department at Mansfield University in Spring 2016 and he assumed the role of department chair in May 2018. Bringing both academic and practical experience with him, Dr. Olson has taught in higher education for about nine years, starting as an adjunct then moving into a tenure-track position at a small liberal arts institution. Before returning to academia, Olson accumulated two decades of professional experience, first as a juvenile probation officer and then as a private practice mediator working with families, businesses and government organizations. During his childhood and undergraduate years, Olson volunteered at a state hospital and worked side by side with both staff and patients. Overall, his experiences have left him with deep interests in understanding what motivates people's deviant behavior, especially as related to internal thoughts and cognitions.
Dr. Olson's areas of interest and specialization are juvenile justice, restorative justice, program/policy development and evaluation (evidence-based programming/policy), and positive psychology related to deviance. He has published in both peer-review and professional media on these topics. Olson is currently working on adapting the Good Lives Model into a delinquency intervention program, using an evidence-based approach in its development. He serves the academic community as Associate Editor of Criminal Justice Policy Review and as a study reviewer for both Crimesolutions.gov and OJJDP's Model Programs Guide.
During free time, Dr. Olson enjoys motorcycle touring with his wife, Becky, undertaking cryptozoological and paranormal investigations, and hiking anywhere in the woods.